The Final Countdown – Europe – 1986
There was a good period of time when I was a kid, that I thought The Final Countdown was the coolest song ever recorded. Thirty years later, big hair and tight leather pants aside… it’s still pretty hard to argue against it.
This song reminds me of evenings playing pool and board games in the local kids’ club. The first time I played air guitar was to the solo in The Final Countdown, and you always have a soft spot for your first one.
I liked a lot of Europe’s music, but other than this song – which was one of the biggest singles released in 1986 – they never really made much of an impression on the charts. Europe was a greatly underappreciated hard rock band, but they existed in a genre that was quite crowded in the late eighties and unfortunately for them, Bon Jovi, Metallica, and Guns N’ Roses took the lion’s share of the attention.
Actually, The Final Countdown is really a sparse song with very little to it. There are not many words, and what there is is unimaginative and meaningless. Usually a song will hook you with the chorus, but here the chorus is almost non-existent, so the hook comes from the intro and that memorable rhythm. Thankfully, that has stood the test of time, and The Final Countdown is as cool now as it ever was.